Design Green Design Gimme a Thermal Break Dept: What Is a Cascadia Clip? By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 CC BY 2.0. Lloyd Alter Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design The City of Toronto Buildings Department cares a lot about green building and saving energy has a totally anal and over-the-top reading of the building code that says I have to build the side walls of my house out of totally non-combustible construction because I am so close to the lot line, and because I have a unit above a unit that somehow makes wood more dangerous. But steel studs are like a highway for heat, effectively carrying it from inside to out and turning your exterior siding into a giant flat plate radiator. You can fill your wall with insulation and call it R-30, but it won't be anywhere close because you need a thermal break. Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0 Enter the Cascadia clip. This clever little device, made by British Columbia's Cascadia Windows, is made of fiberglass, which is a lot less conductive than steel. The girt, a sheetmetal item that the siding is attached to, slots right into it. So when the insulation is applied to the exterior there is a complete thermal break between the exterior siding and the wall. The whole assembly went together quickly and gives me the break that I need. © Cascadia windows You can see the difference it makes in these thermographic photos. This is what I really think is the definition of good green design. It is unobtrusive, it solves a serious problem, it is easy to use and quietly does its job really well. Hail Cascadia!